Mitch Perry Report 5.29.14: Mourning Malcolm Glazer

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The die was pretty much cast about Malcolm Glazer when I arrived in this neck of the woods back in 2000. The Tampa Bay Bucs were feeling their first waves of ascendancy, and the team was never more popular than in the first few years of the aughts, which of course climaxed in January of 2003 when they defeated (my) Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl.

Glazer died at the age of 85 yesterday, and is being hailed as the man who put the resources into what had been a moribund NFL franchise. But let's be frank here — Mr. Glazer was never beloved in this town, and much of that enmity stemmed from the disgust over the 1996 Community Investment Tax that paved the way for the construction of Raymond James Stadium, which opened in 1998. Many fans and lots of non-football fans decried the team's owners for having the community pay for their private stadium. And that vote came just a year after his family purchased the team, not exactly getting off to a smooth honeymoon.

But Malcolm Glazer in that respect was like every other owner before him or after him (including the Rays' Stu Sternberg) in expecting taxpayers to pay for their private playpen. The true outrage should have been directed at the County Commissioners who got suckered into the sweetheart plan for the Glazers in the first place.
The half-cent tax went initially to pay for parks and police cars, jails and trails across Hillsborough County — along with the stadium. Later, Lowry Park Zoo, the Tampa Art Museum and the Florida Aquarium were added to the mix. 

The Glazers have done lots in this community in terms of supporting various nonprofits, and the Children's Museum that opened in the fall 2010 is a fine lasting legacy. 

The death that caused reverberations across the country (based on my Twitter feed) was the passing of Maya Angelou at the age of 86. CL's Julie Garisto has more.

Yesterday the Hillsborough County Commission and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (and a few other stakeholders) agreed to refigure HART as the main transit agency for new projects in the County — meaning the current HART board will soon no longer exist.

The David Jolly camp is lying extremely low today in the wake of Beverly Young's comments that she intends to run against him for Congress as a Democrat in 2016.

Although Rick Scott and Marco Rubio disapprove, members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are in Cuba this week meeting with government officials and entrepreneurs. Last week a host of illustrious former diplomats sent President Obama a letter calling on him to liberalize our relations with our neighbor to the south.

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